Govt cracks down on 'bitter' sweets

Oct 19, 2011, 07:02 IST | MiD DAY Correspondent

After 44 such cases were detected during routine collection of samples from August 6 till October 17, drive to curb food adulteration during festive season

With reports of widespread food adulteration ahead of Diwali, Delhi government on Tuesday ordered a drive to nab the culprits. Samples of sweets and other items would be lifted from all marketplaces across the city by inspectors of Prevention of Food Adulteration Department.

Better safe than sorry: Of the 30 samples taken from major sweet
shops between October 14 and 16, 15 tested unsafe.

Delhi Health Minister AK Walia issued the order after 44 cases of food adulteration were detected during routine collection of samples from August 6 till October 17, laboratory results of which have come today. "Fifteen cases have been registered against the adulterators under various provisions of Food Safety and Standards Act which provides for a maximum punishment of life imprisonment and a penalty of up to Rs 10 lakh for those involved in such illegal activities," the minister said.

The mega drive is being launched as sale and purchase of sweets witnesses a surge in the run up to Diwali and in view of increase in demand adulteration also goes up during this period. "I have ordered Prevention of Food Adulteration Department to come down hard on the adulterators. We will not compromise on health of the citizens," said Walia, The PFA will ensure quick testing of the samples in designated laboratories and take action based on the report.

A total of 652 samples were lifted between August 6 to October 17 by PFA officials and test results of 539 samples have come out of which 15 were found totally unsafe and 14 were found to be sub-standard. Another 15 samples were of fake brands, the government said. The samples were taken from various popular markets in east and north Delhi. PFA officials lifted another 30 samples of sweets and khoya between October 14 and 16 out of which 15 were found to be unsafe.

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